- Paperback: 461 pages
- Publisher: The New Press; Reprint edition (July 6, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1565849787
- ISBN-13: 978-1565849785
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 7.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #703,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Dream Life: Movies, Media, And The Mythology Of The Sixties Reprint Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
For a book that doesn't so much drive home an overarching thesis about its subject as unravel particular events that are dense with historical, political and cinematic import, this assessment of the 1960s and its aftermath by longtime Village Voice critic Hoberman packs a salient and unique wallop. Hoberman wants to remind readers that the '60s marked the first time in American history when "[m]ovies might be political events, and political events were experienced as movies." It is a lesson that by now seems fairly obvious, but the book's power lies in its assessment of how new and forceful the heady combination of politics and visual mass media was, as politicians began to stress their images in addition to their words, and the restrictive Hays Code, which had tightly governed mass media content, loosened. Although the book contains much political analysis, it's a rare history that also reveals the era's sensibilities. Hoberman does so by employing language of the time (when discussing Gordon Park Jr.'s Superfly, he describes the protagonist's "incredible pad" and his "mockery of the honky police") and by using a plethora of sources: Norman Mailer's contemporary writings, popular magazines like Life, the political news of the time, box office stats, etc. Hoberman's usual epigrammatic wit ("Easy Rider is, even in 1968, a costume movie") is on display here, making his long sections of political examinations more bearable.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
In The Magic Hour [BKL Ja 1 & 15 03], Village Voice film critic Hoberman viewed 1990s movies through the lens of the decade's politics. Politics come further to the fore as he juxtaposes the events and the movies of the 1960s. Many of his juxtapositions are obvious--certainly the agendas of The Green Berets and Easy Rider vis-a-vis contemporary events are plain--and most are insightful and revelatory. In 1960, he says, Spartacus and The Alamo symbolized the New Deal and the Cold War; Brando's ineffectual sheriff in The Chase represented the failure of the Great Society; Bonnie and Clyde presaged the counterculture and the end of nonviolence; and the phenomena that soured the era--Vietnam escalation, the Weathermen, and Charlie Manson--are encapsulated in Night of the Living Dead. The events Hoberman chooses are familiar, and his knowledgeable perception of the films makes the book noteworthy as it suggests that, when the outlandish '60s become less comprehensible as they recede in time, the era's movies will remain vital. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
Among the films prominently covered in the book are Blowup, Spartacus, The Manchurian Candidate, Bonnie & Clyde, Easy Rider, The Wild Bunch, and Dirty Harry, but the book also discusses more obscure films such as Tell Them Willie Boy is Here and Wild in the Streets. That most quintessential of all Sixties films, Woodstock, is oddly absent from the book.
A couple of quibbles: Hoberman quotes Norman Mailer far too often and it would have been nice to have a true bibliography rather than having to rummage through the source notes. That aside, I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in either the social history or films of the Sixties--you will not be disappointed!
The point of the book, if there is one that can be easily summarized, is that political and cultural events (especially films) first became genuinely inseparable during the 1960s (not dissimilar to the points that Marshall McLuhan made in ''Understanding Media'' and Daniel Boorstin made in ''The Image: or What Happened to the American Dream'' while history was happening; but, as Hoberman points out, that history could not have been fully understood by those prophets in the midst of it).
This is a masterfully rendered cultural history. Hoberman's style can get breathless at times, and there are a lot of films and events to keep up with, but the narrative (and the analysis) are involving, cogent, and thoughtful. Think ''The Dirty Dozen,'' ''Easy Rider,'' ''Bonnie & Clyde,'' ''Blow Up,'' ''The Wild Bunch,'' ''Shampoo'' (and songs like ''The Ballad of the Green Berets''): they're all here, along with the cultural context that they fed into and the ''dream life'' that they helped construct.